Vol. XII, No.1                             OCT 1994

The sacred horizon hills didn't budge. Yet everything,
everything was awed, dismayed, dazed
by the incomprehensible idea.
                                                      This is mine.
          Simon J. Ortiz, After and Before the Lightning


Bulletin Board                          Page 1

Calls                                          Page 3

Publications                              Page 6

Association News                     Page 12


is published three times a year--on 15 October, 15 February, and 15 May--for the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures. Publication is funded with membership dues, and with assistance from the Department of English, Western Washington University. Please submit news-worthy materials to:

John Purdy
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055
phone: (206) 650-3243
fax: (206) 650-4837

(Layout and technical support provided by Mark Sherman.)

Bulletin Board

Violet Hilbert (Skagit), an accomplished storyteller who lives in Seattle, was recently honored as one of eleven American folk artists named as National Heritage Fellows by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Endowments chair, Jane Alexander, calls Hilbert and her fellow recipients "artists of traditions pure in form and rich in spirit, the wellspring of our diverse American culture." I am certain I speak for us all when I congratulate Hilbert for a well deserved distinction.

The University of Nebraska Press has moved offices. Their new address is: 312 North 14th Street, P.O. Box 880484, Lincoln, NE 68588-0484. The new phone numbers are: 1-800-755-1105 for phone orders; fax 1-800-526-2617; and all departments, (402) 472-3581.

Karl E. Gilmont, formerly with Turtle Quarterly, has become book review editor for Delaware Indian News. His address (P.O. Box 329, Anthony, NM 88021) remains the same.

The National Research Council has a yearly competition for students at various levels of study: from those who are just entering their graduate studies, to those who have recently finished Ph.D.s. This year they awarded one hundred Ford Foundation fellowships, to a variety of "minority" students, including 12 Native Americans, in a variety of disciplines, including literature. For information and applications, contact Christine O'Brien, Program Supervisor, Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel, National Research Council, 2101 Consti-{2} tution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20418. Or Internet:

U.C.L.A. also offers fellowships through their Postdoctoral! Visiting Scholars Fellowship Program. "U.C.L.A.'s Institute of American Cultures . . . offers fellowships to postdoctoral scholars in support of research on . . . American Indians. Awards range from $23,000 to $28,000 per year plus health benefits and research support. These fellowships can be awarded for less than a year, in which case the stipend is adjusted to the length of the award, and can be used to supplement sabbatical salaries. For further information and applications, please contact the director of UCLA, American Indian Studies Center, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1548." The deadline for applications is December 31, 1994.

Jim Barnes has returned from his Fulbright Fellowship in Switzerland, which seems to have been a very productive time. During his months in Europe, he was invited to read his poetry in Rome; he was poet-in-residence at the Paris Writers Workshop; and he has new poems due for publication in several national journals and magazines. Moreover, his collection, The Sawdust War (University of Illinois Press) won the Oklahoma Book Award. A very productive time.

E-mail addresses: Andy Wiget has proposed that I solicit electronic-mail addresses from subscribers, and publish them in an issue of Notes. This makes a great deal of sense, and those who remember when Andy, then the editor of Notes, published the addresses of our members can understand how useful this list could be for communication. So, if you have an e-mail address, please send it along to or by traditional post to my address on the table of contents page and I will compile a list that I will then publish.



Inés Hernández-Ávila is seeking essays for a collection entitled On Our Own Terms: Critical/Creative Representations by Native American Women. Her purpose is to edit this volume, "wherein Native American women scholars, writers and artists articulate for themselves their own positions around issues such as identity (race, ethnicity, gender, sexualities), community, sovereignty, culture and representation." Submissions are sought from a variety of disciplines. "Essays which contribute to an unlayering of the complexities of 'Indian' women's identity not only in the United States but in this hemisphere are encouraged.

Visual artists and photographers are invited to submit work, on its own or accompanied by narrative. Autobiographical essays and essays which focus on the creative/critical process or personal essays which address any of the above issues are also most welcome." The deadline for submissions is January 31, 1995. Send them to: Dr. Inés Hernández-Ávila, Department of Native American Studies, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. For information, write to this address or call (916) 752-4394; message (916) 752-3237.

Once again, The Elie Wiesel Foundation is holding its Ethics Essay Contest "with awards totaling $10,000, open to full-time junior and senior undergraduates at accredited, United States colleges and universities. Deadline for submitting an original 3,000-4,000 word essay is January 13, 1995. The theme for this year is: 'Creating an Ethical Society: Personal Responsibility and the Common Good.' For entry forms and guidelines, write to The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics, The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, 1177 Avenue of the Americas, 36th Floor, New York, NY 10036."

From Moccasin Telegraph (Spring 1994): "Call for submissions for Lakes of Tears, a benefit anthology, edited by William Harjo Bray. . . . Lakes of Tears will include fiction, poetry and non-fiction highlighting some vivid Indian educational experience, either in Indian boarding schools or other Indian educational experiences. Native authors are asked to donate one-time rights to their work to benefit the Native American Preparatory School. [Work may have been published previously.] He will be taking submissions through December, 1994: William Harjo Bray. Rt. 9, Box 86 RE, Santa Fe, NM 87505."

Edith Blicksilver is seeking submissions for "a book on how women from different ethnic backgrounds cope with stress. I am seeking short stories, poems, essays, and biographical sketches of three to five pages. Submissions should describe how people have coped with the loss of a loved one, divorce, disappointment, etc., and include specific ways in which cultural traditions and ethnic origins have helped or hindered recovery. Student work welcome. Send to: Edith Blicksilver, English Department, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA 30332-0165." Blicksilver published a book previously that addressed ethnic women: The Ethnic American Woman: Problems, Protests, Ljfestyle (1978).

I will be directing another National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for School Teachers this summer. The five-week seminar will explore the first novels by fourNative writers: D'Arcy McNickle, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louise Erdrich. It will run from 26 June to 28 July 1995; it is open to teachers (and sometimes administrators) from elementary, junior and high schools throughout the country and from any discipline, and those who teach in American schools overseas. For information, send a query to John Purdy, NEH Seminar, Department of English, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9055.

Andy Wiget is editing and Encyclopedia of Native American Folklore for Garland Publishing's World Folklore Series. "If you are interested in contributing to this reference work, contact Andrew Wiget, who will send you Authors Guidelines and a list of topics. Wiget can be contacted by e-mail ( or by fax (505) 646-7890."

The University of Montana will host a graduate student conference from March 17-19, 1995. This will be the 3rd annual Conference on Theoretical Approaches to Marginalized Literatures. The organizers are calling for papers and panel topics, providing a long list that includes literatures by Native Americans. For information or to send 300 word abstracts for panels! papers, contact Marginalized Literatures Conference, English Department, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, Attn. Kurt Slauson.

E-mail addresses: Andy Wiget has proposed that I solicit electronic-mail addresses from subscribers, and publish them in an issue of Notes. This makes a great deal of sense, and those who remember when Andy, then the editor of Notes, published the addresses of our members can understand how useful this list is for communication. So, if you have an e-mail address, please send it along to or by traditional post and I will compile a list that I will then publish. Good thoughts.

Brian Swann has sent me a flier from Peter Smith Publisher, Inc. This is a publisher that specializes in requests, as a statement from its president, Mary Ann Lash, demonstrates: "If you would like to see a particular out-of-print title, or one currently available only in paperback, reprinted, please let us know. We will do our best to see it gets into our next catalog." Since we face this problem {6} so often, perhaps this is one solution to getting our much-used books back into print. Write to the press at 5 Lexington Avenue, Magnolia, Gloucester, MA 01930. Phone: (508) 525-3562; fax (508) 525-3674.

Weber Studies (an interdisciplinary humanities journal) will produce "a special issue on Native American Heritage scheduled for (September) 1995. . . . While we wish to publish creative works exclusively by Native American writers, we are keen to include essays on Native American culture[s] and literature[s] (oral as well as print) by all scholars in the field." There appears to be a "modest" honorarium involved. For submission or information, contact Neila C. Sesachari, Editor, Weber Studies, Weber State University, Ogden, UT 84408-1214.


The Dictionary of Native American Literature, edited by Andrew Wiget, is due out this month. "Copies should reach contributors by the end of the year. Libraries are encouraged to order this reference work compiled by ASAIL members." New York; Garland Press, 1994. Price: $95.

Recently, I received a copy of a very interesting publication from the Oak Lake Writers Group in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. Woyake Kinikiya is a collection of poetry, personal narratives, stories, if one must classify. "This tribal model group is an experiment in writing from a singular tribal world view, and from the same literary oral tradition. Although all the writers are Sioux, {7} there is still a distinct difference in the story telling techniques, or writing styles, between the Dakota and the Lakota writers." It is a fine collection, that includes a few poems by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. Copies are for sale at $6.00, or with a 20% discount for multiple issues. To order, contact Joyzelle Godfrey, Oak Lake Writers Group, P.O. Box 440, Fort Thompson, SD 57339.

HarperCollins has published Ohitika Woman by Mary Brave Bird with Richard Erdoes. "Picking up where Lakota Woman, the winner of the American Book Award for 1991, left off, Ohitika Woman continues Mary Brave Bird's story. Mingling tales of her ancestors with those of her grandchildren, she talks about the breakdown of her marriage to Leonard Crow Dog, raising children when she wasn't sure where her next dollar would come from, and her battle with alcoholism."

The University of New England Press has recently published Manifest Manners: Postindian Warriors of Survivance, by Gerald Vizenor.

In the mid-September issue of News From Indian Country, D.L. Birchfield reviews Native America: Portrait of the Peoples edited by Duane Champagne (Turtle Mountain Chippewa). This is an extensive, but shortened version of The Native North American Almanac. It contains a wide variety of essays, on an equally wide variety of contemporary subjects, written by prominent Native scholars/writers.

From Putnam, The Grass Dancer by Susan Power (Standing Rock Sioux). Power's first novel is reviewed by Tiffany Midge (Standing Rock) in the late September 1994 issue of News From Indian Country.

Hyperion Books for Children has published Michael Dorris' Guests: a novel for eight year olds and up, about Thanksgiving from a Native American boy's point of view. This is a timely publication for this time of year.

From the University of Arizona Press: Luminaries of the Humble, by Elizabeth Woody. Her second collection of poetry, this work continues to enhance Woody's reputation, first established with Hand Into Stone. After and Before the Lightning, by Simon J. Ortiz. This powerful collection of poetry and narrative centers on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, where Ortiz once spent the winter. The long-awaited (and well worth it) Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival, edited by Joseph Bruchac has also been recently released. This expansive work is due to become one of the central anthologies in contemporary Native literatures. In Bone Dance: New and Selected Poems, 1965-1993, Wendy Rose once again demonstrates her talent and expertise.

Theytus Books Ltd. has published another very useful work for those interested in the readings of the literary arts of Native North America. Looking at the Words of Our People: First Nations Analysis of Literature, edited by Jeanette Armstrong, contains a dozen essays that address ways to "look" at texts, from reviews (of Medicine River and The Jailing of Cecilia Capture), to Kimberly M. Blaeser's "Seeking a Critical Center," to D.L. Birchfield's exploration of the 1992 "Returning the Gift" festival, "In and Around the Forum," and Greg Young-Ing's "Marginalization in the Publishing Industry." To order, contact Theytus Books Ltd., 257 Brunswick Street, Penticton, British Columbia V2A 5P9 Canada.

Linda Hogan (Chickasaw) has two books of poetry currently advertised by Coffee House Press: The Book of Medicines and Savings.

And from Ballantine, Fawcett, Ivy: Paula Gunn Allen's Voice of the Turtle: American Indian Literature, 1900-1970.

Tiffany Midge (Standing Rock Sioux) has won the 1994 Diane Decorah Memorial Poetry Award with Outlaws, Renegades & Saints: Diary of a Mixed-Up Half breed. This collection will be published by the Greenfield Review Press.

Ralph Salisbury (Eastern Cherokee) has had his collection of short stories--One Indian and Two Chiefs--published by the Navajo Community College Press. (Ralph was recently in Norway on a Fulbright Research award, where he worked on translating poems of the Sami poet Nils-Aslak Valkeapaa.)

The Colour of Resistance: A Contemporary Collection of Writings by Aboriginal Women, collected by Connie Fife (Cree), contains the work of many familiar authors, including Beth Brant (Mohawk), Charlotte De Clue (Osage) and Janice Gould (Maidu).

Oregon State University Press is completing its energetic "Oregon Literature" series. This multi-volume collection contains numerous works by Native writers and storytellers, in each of its genre collections: Glen Love edited the fiction volume, The World Begins Here, which includes work by Elizabeth Woody ("Home Cooking"); Steve Beckham edited the autobiography collection, Many Faces; Primus St. John and Ingrid Wendt compiled the poetry volume, From Here We Speak, which includes poems by Woody, Gloria Bird, Ed Edmo and Phil {10} George to name a few; and Suzi Jones and Jarold Ramsey have compiled The Stories We Tell, a wonderful collection of previously unpublished stories, both older and recent tellings.

Robert Franklin Gish has a new work of fiction due out from The University of New Mexico Press: When Coyote Howls: A Lavaland Fable. Bob's new tale sounds like an interesting read. UNM Press also has his recent Songs of My Hunter Heart.

Holy Cow! Press is supposed to release a new collection by Duane Niatum this fall: The Crooked Beak of Love is the title, I believe.

John E. Smelcher (Ahtna Athabaskan) and D.L. Birchfield (Choctaw/Chickasaw) have edited Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry, "a joint publication of American Indian Press and Salmon Run Press. The book includes the poetry of 43 major and newly-emerging poets . . . ." [According to the note I have, this was due for release in July.]

New Voices in Native American Literary Criticism, edited by Arnold Krupat. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993. This volume, listed previously in Notes, contains essays on a variety of Native texts.

Time Being Books has published Adrian C. Louis' poetry collection, Blood Thirsty Savages. Their recent flier quotes Momaday and Silko, who sing praise for this book. To order, contact Time Being Books at 10411 Clayton Road, Suites 201-203, St. Louis, Missouri 63131.

Janet Campbell Hale's much acclaimed Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter has won the 1993 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

In January or February 1995, Random House will release Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America, edited with an introduction by Brian Swann. This is a truly extensive collection of stories, arranged geographically and presented by people well known to our readers. (The table of contents is too massive to reproduce here, unfortunately.)

This winter, Callaloo will publish a special issue on Native American literatures, edited by National Director of Wordcraft Circle, Lee Francis. The magazine will include fiction and poetry, essays, criticism, interviews and photography from artists too numerous to mention here. To order a copy ($8 plus $1.50 postage), contact Callaloo at The John Hopkins University Press, P.O. Box 19966, Baltimore, MD 21211 or call 1-800-548-1784.

Lee Francis is also in the final stages of production for his book Native Time: An Historical Timetable of Native America from 200,000BC to 1994 AD. The book is due out from St. Martin's Press in Spring 1995, and promises to be a wealth of information.

I Stand in the Center of the Good: Interviews with Contemporary Native American Artists by Larry Abbott was published recently in the American Indian Lives series from the University of Nebraska Press. The first book of its kind, this collection "offers a forum for seventeen contemporary Native American artists to speak about the development of their art, their creative process, how they define their art, and how it relates to their Indianness." Abbott has also authored "A Bibliography of Studies of Contemporary Native Art," due for publication in American Indian Quarterly, Volume 18, No.3.

As noted in the ever-popular newsletter from The Society for the Study of The Indigenous Languages of the Americas: Between Worlds: Interpreters, Guides, and Survivors, by Frances Karttunen. Rutgers University Press, 1994. This study explores the stories of sixteen people, over the last five centuries, who acted as "uncomfortable bridges" between indigenous and Euroamerican peoples. "So Wise Were Our Elders": Mythic Narratives from the Kamsá by John Holmes McDowell. University of Kentucky Press, 1994. This is a collection of thirty-two narratives from the Kamsá people of southern Columbia.

Association News

This year's Modern Language Association convention will take place in late December in San Diego, California. A.S.A.I.L., as usual, will hold its annual business meeting at that time. (Please check the convention schedule for time and place.) There will also be several panels and sessions of interest to readers, including:

"Return to Native Languages" Fred H. White, U.C.L.A., Presiding
3:30-4:45, Solana Room, San Diego Marriott, Tuesday, 27 December

1. "Ojibwe Language Renewal," Jillian M. Berkland, U.C.L.A.
2. "Reclaiming Language: Reclaiming Identity," Joane Breinig, Univ. of Washington

"American Indian Literature[s] in the Curriculum: Strategies and Resources" Kathryn W. Shanley, Cornell Univ., Presiding

Speakers: A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff Univ. of Illinois, Chicago; James K. Ruppert, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks; and Kathryn W. Shanley.

A.S.A.I.L. is also offering three $300 grants this year to Native American graduate students who want to attend the convention. The grants are to help pay for travel or accommodations and, if this pilot program works, there's a chance that the grants will become an annual award. For more information or to apply for one of the grants, write to A.S.A.I.L. president, Kathryn W. Shanley, at Department of English, Cornell University, Goldwin Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853.